Geelani Links Sopore Killings to Defence Minister's Statement
A spate of attacks in Sopore has left two dead
SRINAGAR : Pro-Pakistan Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani Wednesday said that the attacks in Sopore, where unidentified gunmen killed two men in as many days, "hint" at a policy of "using terrorists to kill terrorists" announced by the Union Defence Minister.
"The innocent killings in Sopore stink of the beginning of a new era of terror in the state, especially in the light of Defence Minister's statement. We condemn these attacks," Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson of Geelani's Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, told The Citizen.
Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, had made the controversial statement at a function in New Delhi recently, saying: "We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?"
Akbar said their amalgam is "ascertaining the facts" about the events that have been happening in Sopore over the past few weeks.
"It certainly looks like the statement of Defence Minister and the killings in Sopore are linked but we are checking facts and we will come out with a statement very soon."
Two men were killed by unidentified gunmen in Sopore over the last two days with the J&K police blaming an unknown outfit, Lashkar-e-Islam, for carrying out "revenge attacks" over the loss of a hi-tech equipment installed by the group on mobile towers in North Kashmir.
The equipment, which reportedly helped the militants in tracing the location and call details of mobile subscribers, including that of the Army and J&K Police personnel doing counter-insurgency operations, were taken down from the towers around two months ago by security agencies.
This had resulted in a spate of attacks in Sopore, which has left two people dead and two more injured. The latest casualty of the events is Ghulam Hassan Dar, who was shot dead last night at his home in Duru of Sopore, by unidentified gunmen.
Superintendent of Police (Sopore), Abdul Qayoom, told The Citizen that the suspects barged into his house at around 9:30 pm and fired indiscriminately, killing Dar on the spot. A mobile tower was erected by Bharti Airtel in the compound of Dar's house. "Two suspects entered into the house and two more were waiting outside. We are investigating the case," he said.
This is the second killing to have taken place in Sopore after the mysterious outfit issued threats to people in the town, asking them to wind up their businesses with the telecom companies.
Early on Monday morning, three unknown gunmen drove in a car to Sopore's Shah Fasil Market, pulled over outside a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) franchise office and fired, injuring three people, among whom one, identified as Mohammad Rafiq Dar, 24, succumbed.
All the six major telecom operators, including the State-owned BSNL have shut down their operations in North Kashmir. The wave of terror has also spread to Baramulla where a number of telecom retailers pulled down the signboards of the companies from their shops.